By Yvonne Sam
This comparison of the sexual victims of two men of means, is in no way meant to disparage or deprecate their experience, but to show instead, in black and white, how two similar situations are treated not only by society, in general, but by law enforcement and the news media.
Enter two white men of means, both possessing political influence and clout. One of the men’s accusers are white women, while the other’s are young, gay Black men.
The main actors are the same color, the victims different colors, and the response from the media and the Democrats could not be more different.
Following a recent New York Times investigation, detailing numerous episodes of sexual harassment, perpetrated by media mogul, Harvey Weinstein, the board of directors at The Weinstein Company fired him (www.nytimes.com/2017/10/08/business/harvey-weinstein-fired.html?_r=0).
Yes, that’s all it took — three days, an exposé by the New York Times and an enumeration of white women, claiming that the impressive, authoritarian film producer engaged in inappropriate conduct that included sexual harassment, unrequited physical contact and sexual advances.
Once the news began to spread, everyone, from actors, lacklusters and producers started falling over themselves in an effort to either distance themselves from the situation or to jump on the bandwagon, condemning Weinstein for his behavior.
Now just a step away, next door in West Hollywood, Gemmel Moore, a young, gay, black man was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in the home of Ed Buck, on July 27 (www.wehotimes.com/sex-politics-meth-death-west-hollywood/).
Like Harvey Weinstein, Ed Buck is a man of means and a well-known contributor to the Democratic Party. Fiscally speaking, over the years, he has contributed hundreds of thousands to Democratic causes and candidates.
Gracing his Facebook pages are dozens of photos of him with everyone from presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, to California Governor, Jerry Brown, California Democratic Party chairman, Eric Bauman, and even Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti (www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/8/28/young-mans-death-wealthy-donor-and-cost-silence).
Like Weinstein, Buck also has a laundry list of victims who have come forward, telling the story of a man, who they all claim has a Tuskegee Experiment fetish, which involves calling Black men niggers and shooting drugs into young Black men, whom he picks up off the street or dating hook-up websites (campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/tell-ca-democrats-to-return-money-from-donor-involved-in-homicide-investigation-of-black-gay-man)
Democratic Party campaign finance records reveal that Buck has given at least $30,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with the money being spread around to members of Congress, the State Legislature and even Los Angeles’ city and district attorneys – the two offices responsible for filing criminal charges, in cases such as this.
Gemmel Moore’s death, on July 27, in the home of Ed Buck, was immediately classified by the L.A coroner as an accidental methamphetamine overdose. However, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide bureau is now taking a closer look following the publication of Moore’s personal journal, as well as accounts from additional victims (www.jasmyneacannick.com/after-gemmel-moores-death-new-victim-comes-forward-and-recounts-ed-bucks-gates-of-hell/).
Similar to Weinstein, whose offenses are said to date back to the 90s, for decades Ed Buck’s exploits have long been known and talked about in West Hollywood and elite political circles in Los Angeles.
However, when the news of the scandal involving Moore’s death at Buck’s home emerged, unlike with Weinstein, very few Democrats had anything to say. In fact, it was the complete opposite reaction — Democrats used their silence as a means of protecting him.
The mainstream news media and even alternative media, on more than one occasion, passed on reporting the story of Moore’s death, citing diverse reasons from their legal departments being worried about getting sued by Buck, to the witnesses refusing to allow them to be identified (lasentinel.net/democrats-and-mainstream-media-come-to-rescue-of-harvey-weinsteins-white-female-accusers-but-continue-to-ignore-death-of-gemmel-moore.html).
A longstanding rule has been that the media abstains from identifying victims of most sexual crimes, unless the victim is willing to speak publicly.
Similarly, with the white women accusing Weinstein of wrongdoing, Buck’s Black victims said they felt embarrassed, and feeling that no one would take them seriously, because of who Ed Buck is, and who they are – Black, gay, male sex workers and escorts.
Already, almost a dozen Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer, and several potential 2020 presidential contenders, are pledging to donate the contributions they’ve received from Weinstein, over the years, to nonprofit groups advocating for women who have been the victims of sexual abuse (www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democrats-rushing-give-weinstein-donations-charity-n808531).
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that it will give the money it received from Weinstein in the most recent campaign cycle, to a trio of women’s groups. Other Democratic campaign committees in Washington are working with lawmakers and their campaigns to assess how much Weinstein — whose donations date back to the early 1990s — might have given to their candidates and organizations (www.businessinsider.com/dnc-weinstein-donations-pro-democratic-groups-emilys-list-2017-10).
It is blatantly evident, that even the allegation from a white woman, of her being violated in some sexual way, is enough to send America into a tail spin, and for there to be consequences. Class and race certainly have their place, and what is there to say when the victims are Black and gay.
Two men. Similar situations. Different responses. Same country. The Harvey Weinstein fall from grace, is not only about race, but has opened the door for all to see Hollywood and its hypocrisy.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.